ACCORDING to a wise old sage, a week is long time in politics and for Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie this is certainly the case.

This time last week, the Greens pair had access to ministerial limousines and were members of the Scottish cabinet thanks to the Bute House Agreement.

Then former first minister Humza Yousaf threw the mother of all hissy fits and scrapped the agreement on a whim thus turfing the Greens out on a limb. Of course, it didn’t end well for Mr Yousaf either.

Now Ms Slater and Mr Harvie are reduced to carping at their old chums in the SNP from the sidelines and it seems that they are still raging at the ending of the agreement.

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Ms Slater had a pop at the outgoing FM at First Minister’s questions this week when she demanded to know when the overdue climate test for dualling the A96 will be published.

It was apparently a key undertaking as part of the Bute House Agreement and she’s a tad miffed that it still hasn’t been published.

Quite why she didn’t raise it when she sat round the cabinet table is unclear but why let cordiality get in the way of a festering grudge.

For the uninitiated, the A96 is the main trunk road in the north-east and links Aberdeen and Inverness, via towns such as Keith, Huntly and Elgin.

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And as any regular traveller will tell you, the road is a shocker and is highly dangerous.

Back in 2011 it was announced that it would be fully dualled with works expected to be completed by 2030.

But just six years away from its proposed completion date, progress is as slow as being stuck behind a tractor through the Glens of Foudland.

This is partially the fault of the Greens so Ms Slater has a bit of a brass neck to raise questions about it now, but it shows the utter contempt the party appears to have for rural areas.

At FMQs, Ms Slater asked: “One of the policies contained in the Bute House Agreement was to conduct a climate compatibility assessment of the proposed dualling of the A96. That assessment is now long overdue.

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“And when it inevitably says we cannot afford – for the sake of future generations – to dual that road in full, will he commit to investing the money earmarked for this project into safety improvements and better public transport for communities who live along the route?”

But the question here really is can we afford not to dual the road?

When I was a cub reporter back in the day, I worked for a local paper which was running a campaign demanding that the road was improved due to the high number of deaths.

Several years later, the road is still as dangerous as it was back then and this is nothing short of a disgrace.

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Surely dualling the road is the single most important safety improvement that can be carried out, as Ms Slater rightly asks for.

Road safety must always be a priority over green targets.

Electric cars may not cause pollution but they are still death traps on shoddy roads. They need safe roads too.

Getting people out of cars for the sake of the environment is an argument that is hard to fathom when electric vehicles will soon be compulsory.

Maybe Ms Slater should have taken a run along the A96 in her ministerial limo to see for herself how bad it is.